What’s supposed to be a thrilling state rivalry between the 24th-ranked Utah Utes (1-0) and BYU Cougars (1-0) may just be a butt-kicking for the visiting Utes. The 24th-ranked team is going for their tenth straight win against BYU and the college football odds are favoring them to do so.
|Game: (24) Utah Utes (1-0) at BYU Cougars (1-0)
Location: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT
Time: 10:15 p.m. ET
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Over/Under||Team Total|
|Utah||-7 -115||-270||48 -110o|
|BYU||+7 -105||+230||48 -110u|
In this classic rivalry between state rivals, the Utes lead the series 59-31-4. This will be the pair’s 95th meeting. The Utes have won the last nine meetings, which is the longest streak by any team. They last met in 2019, which Utah won and covered as a 6.5-point favorite.
In fact, the Utes have covered on seven of their last ten meetings with the totals going under or pushing in all but three games.
(24) Utah Utes (1-0)
Next game: at San Diego State)
Utah destroyed Weber State in its season opener to the tune of 40-17. Yet, this was still not enough to cover as they needed to win by more than 29 points according to the college football spreads.
The Utes could have covered if it didn’t allow the Wildcats to throw a pointless touchdown to end the game. But even without these extra points, the totals would have still gone over the 49.5 projection.
There are no major injuries for Utah. Only Ja’Quinden Jackson, a freshman quarterback and a depth player at best is listed as “questionable”.
BYU Cougars (1-0)
Next game: vs Arizona State
Just like Utah, the Cougars won but failed to cover their point spread last week. They beat Arizona 24-16, which is short of the 12.5 points they needed to win by. BYU was not that hot offensively as the totals also fell short of the projected 53.5 points.
The Cougars’ defense was also not that impressive and allowed the Wildcats to gain 426 total yards. Opposing QB Gunner Cruz threw for 336 of this.
The Cougars have a handful of injuries though none too major. Wideouts Gunner Romney, a junior, and freshman Kody Epps are listed as questionable. Romney left last game with a knee injury. Similarly, sophomore linebacker Max Tooley is listed as questionable with an undisclosed injury.
Betting on the Game
The action has gone back-and-forth with this seven-point spread that favors the 24th-ranked Utes. The favorite has been a solid choice when betting online and has covered six of its last seven road games. Brigham Young, on the other hand, has not covered at home against Utah in the last five games it hosted its state rival.
Additionally, Utah has won by an average of 18.8 points when playing in the LaVell Edwards. This includes an 18-point win the last time they met in 2019 and a 44-point dismantling in 2011. Utah has also been unbeaten against BYU when it faced it as a ranked team.
A touchdown shouldn’t be much of an issue for the Utes as it has maintained a more consistently topnotch program than Brigham Young. The team is also returning most of its key players from last season and should even have more chemistry this year.
The moneyline opened for Utah at -250 and has now been bet down to -270. Simply put, the Utes have the Cougars’ numbers as they haven’t lost to them since 2009 when BYU was ranked 18th in the AP Top 25.
BYU is definitely not the same powerhouse it used to be with Zach Wilson leading the team. But Haren Hall did “okay” last week throwing for 198 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Tyler Allgeier also had a solid game with 94 rushing yards and a touchdown. The two will have their hands full against a better Utah defense.
— Utah Football (@Utah_Football) September 3, 2021
The Utes only allowed 5.5 yards per play last season and will return eight of its starters. Their linemen, led by fourth-year linebacker Devin Lloyd, is ranked as one of the best in the Pac-12 and should be able to neutralize BYU’s running game.
But on the flipside, BYU may have a tougher time stopping a well-balanced attack from the Utes. QB Charlie Brewer should be up to the task of leading this team down the field.
Don’t expect a high-scoring game here, at least that’s what the sportsbook’s totals of 48 points indicate. In their last three meetings, Utah and BYU have combined to average 45 points and the totals have gone under in four of their last six games.
BYU’s strength, which would be their running game, could be neutralized by Utah’s veteran defense. And neither team has a quarterback that can run up a score. If Romney also can’t play, that removes an offensive threat from the home team further limiting their offensive ceiling.
Although the intuition is that this will be a higher scoring game than originally predicted as the totals opened at 47.